NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The bills to ban children’s transgender therapy and criminalize certain drag shows are nearing law.

Thursday, those bills passed the Tennessee House after already passing the Senate. The children’s transgender therapy ban now heads to the governor’s desk for signature (something he indicated he’d give), while the drag bill heads back to the Senate for a procedural vote on a last-second amendment.

It left those in the LGBTQ+ community feeling lost.

“I was suicidal in my early teen years, and it was because I was trans and I wasn’t able to come out and be who I really was,” Theo Cagwin said. “If I hadn’t been able to socially transition and to look forward to medical transitioning, then I would probably not be here today.”

Cagwin is transgender and was at the Capitol for the vote.

Republicans touted the legislation as both strong and bipartisan, as three Democrats – Rep. Joe Towns, Jr. (D-Memphis), Rep. Antonio Parkins (D-Memphis) and Rep. Yusuf Hakeem (D-Chattanooga) – joined every Republican who voted for the bill.

“This is not a partisan issue. It’s a shame that this has become a partisan issue,” House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) said. “Protecting our children from dangerous procedures that have a lifelong of hurt to them and have no benefit to them scientifically, that’s something we should all be able to stand together on.”

Of course, most Democrats disagree.

State vs. Nashville bills coming up

Wednesday morning sees bills to strip power from Nashville’s Metro Council.

A Senate Finance Committee will hear the bill to halve the council Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. That’s typically the last stop before it hits the Senate floor.

In a small surprise, Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) voted against the bill in a Senate State and Local Government Committee this last week. It’s the first time a Republican in either chamber has voted against it, though Pody does have some of his district in Davidson County.

In an 8:30 a.m. House Government Operations Committee, bills to allow state leaders to decide who appoints the majority of the boards of the BNA Airport Authority and Metropolitan Sports Authority – both of which whose boards currently are made up of a myriad of people, mostly appointed by the mayor or council.

You may remember late last week when Republican leaders said those bills and others could potentially go away if Nashville seriously considers bringing the RNC to town.

TennCare and Transgender Community

Republicans are pushing legislation to make it so TennCare cannot contract with any private insurance company that reimburses transgender care.

It passed the House Insurance Committee last week and heads to the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

“Tell me what we’re solving for with this,” Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville) asked during the House Insurance Committee hearing. “What is the problem we’re trying to fix?”

“We’re not particularly trying to fix a problem,” Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) responded. “This is just a service that is currently available to TennCare that will no longer be available, as other services in TennCare are not provided.”

Quick notes from the week

Wait, what did he just say?

Rep. Torrey Harris (D-Memphis) asserted three Tennessee Republicans are part of the LGBTQ+ community while arguing against the passage of the children’s transgender bill Thursday during session.

“We have three other not openly LGBTQ Republicans colleagues of mine who can’t really open their mouths and speak freely about their situation because they’re hiding,” he said.

Abortion bills

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear several bills pertaining to abortion at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Some of them include exceptions for medical emergencies, rape and incest.

Want to vote in any primary?

There’s a bill headed to the House Elections and Campaign Finance Subcommittee Wednesday at noon. If it passes through the legislature, it would authorize political parties to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary.